Please read the questions and answers below before writing in.
If you are a dance promoter and want your information listed on this website,
refer to the formatting guidelines.
Please note that the comments
on this webpage generally apply to both the regular dancenet
and tangonet webpages, though I usually
update the tango pages more often (yes, there's a reason why the two websites look similar).
- "How often is DanceNet On The Web updated?"
DanceNet is updated once every week, usually around Sunday. I sometimes make an
additional or special update if I feel like it. I do not go out of my way to
make last-minute changes so please get your information to me as soon as possible.
Note: The earlier you get your information to me, the earlier I get it on the website
and the longer it's visible on the website. If it's a calendar item, it gets you a higher
spot for events on that date.
- "How do I get listed on the calendar or any other pages?"
- First, ask yourself: is your event or venue appropriate for this website? Does it
involve social dancing? Do you have to hold hands doing it?
- Send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the email address
at the bottom of the page where you want your information listed.
Three important rules:
- Send your information to me with plenty of time to type it in. I *will not*
waste my Saturday nights typing your information in for the Sunday update.
- Note that I can cut & paste from text email and I can't from graphic images or flyers.
- Don't tell me to get the necessary information from your website. I
shouldn't have to look through your website for the information I need. If you're
too lazy to type that information in an email message so I can help you get more
paying customers, then I'm too lazy to look on your website for the information.
Sometimes I'll pick up flyers at dances...and sometimes I'll find those same flyers
at the bottom of my backpack. You're better off sending email because I won't delete
the message until I type the information in.
- "What do the colors in the calendar mean?
The color backgrounds used in the New England calendars reflect special events that
might merit your attention.
something pink or very light red (color "#ffcccc"),
indicates workshops, particularly featuring someone from out of town who's not around
all the time. Workshops by local teachers are considered just "classes" and don't get
highlighted in the local calendar. There might be an evening dance along with the
workshops but they'll be normal local dances, either regularly scheduled or scheduled.
I generally do not list ballroom workshops.
or a light green (color "#ccffcc"), indicates a dance
weekend like Beantown Lindy Hop Camp
or the Boston Tea Party
which feature dancing and workshops. This usually indicates an event that might
bring in people from other parts of the country and offer workshops with
teachers from other parts of the country or the world. This was once a weird
brownish color because I didn't realize that my LCD monitor wasn't displaying
this particular shade of green correctly.
a very pale yellow (color "#ffffcc"), indicates a special
dance event of just dancing, like a local lindy exchange. There're no visiting teachers;
it's just an organized (or unorganized) grouping of dancing. I usually forget and use
the green (above) instead. This may change if the highlighting isn't noticeable on my monitor.
This is not to say that I'm always consistent about it. There are more listings
for workshops by a visiting instructor so I'm used to using the
color. Occasionally I might be merrily typing away and enter the pink background color instead of
color for a dance weekend event. It's really not a big deal because I'll
eventually catch and fix it. The whole point was to make it stand out and
get noticed by the reader and that happens regardless of the background color.
, a very bright
and strong yellow (color "#ffff00"), is a new color that I'm using. I decided that I wanted a special
color to highlight something I'm strongly supporting and will probably attend, such
as the 25th Anniversary dance of the Boston
Swing Dance Network. I'm not going to be using this color designation
much, but if I do, you'll know that it's something special that I support. Hmm... Maybe I
should be using this color for the Beantown Lindy Hop Camp.
No, you can't buy the highlighting for your event.
- "Can you tell me where to go dancing in..."
No. In my opinion, the DanceNet website was designed with Internet
newbies in mind. The average user should be able to figure out from the
front page how to find the information they need.
*DO NOT* ask me for any specific information. I live in Boston and
don't get out to most of the venues listed on my website. If I don't go
dancing in Worcester, MA, it should be a pretty reasonable guess that I
won't know anything about dancing in Illinois.
If you don't find the information on my website, that means I don't know
anything about that venue so asking me directly will just piss me off.
And don't even think about asking if you're not willing to look for that
- "Why isn't some information on the website?"
- In most cases, the bottom line is that no one sent it to me! I don't make any money
off dancing and I definitely don't make money off this website so I have no real
incentive to call and write to venues for their information. I'm also not clairvoyant;
I can't list what I don't know about.
I expect the dance promoters and venues (the ones who make money off dancing and want
customers!) to send me the information. Dance venues that want their events publicized
should send me the information instead of waiting for me to find it myself. I do not
spend my days surfing the web to get information; I don't have the time nor the
inclination to do so. However, this website is one of the better maintained
dance websites out there.
- Sometimes people send it late. I usually update on Sundays. If
you send me information on Monday and wonder why it's not on the
website on Tuesday, it's because you didn't send it to me early enough.
- Let's face it: I'm not interested in listing events for any dances besides Swing, Lindy,
Argentine Tango &
Hustle. I'll tolerate ballroom but
I'm not excited about it. If it's a dance where I don't get to hold my partner's hand
for the duration of a song, what's the point? If your favorite dance isn't mentioned,
it's not *my* problem.
- "Do you copy information from other websites?"
In general, no.
- I don't have the time to look through other websites.
- I'm not interested in looking. I want to be able to
cut & paste everything I need from an email message.
- My website has been plagarized by many other websites
so why would I want to take information from other websites?
I've caught other websites that have plagarized directly from my website. That's why I prefer
a direct email message from a dance promoter because that means someone stands behind that
information. An email message is also a persistent reminder that I need to edit this website
because I leave the message in my mailbox until I get around to adding the event.
- Information from discussion forums
Those of you who are accustomed to making announcements in any of
discussion forums should know that I usually stay away from those
websites. Don't make announcements in those forums and expect me to
- "How much time is spent on DanceNet each week?"
With both the webpage and newsletter, I think I average around 10
hours a week. There is a lot of information out there. And I don't get
paid for doing this. Please remember that.
- "What are the ideal system requirements for viewing DanceNet?"
I generally write HTML code while looking at a 1024x768 resolution LCD monitor
with 16-bit color. I've been using Mozilla
Firefox. However, I generally
don't assume that the reader has the browser window maximized. I don't use
any special programs to create these pages; I write all the HTML by hand.
I normally do not use other browsers unless I have to so testing on those other
platforms will be minimal However, I do have the following on my computers:
If I hear about problems with a specific browser, I'll see if I can fix them. However,
I spend most of my time on Firefox so you
can save me a lot of work by just using that.
- "How are the graphics created?"
The scanner is a MicroTek SlimScan c6 color scanner
which works fine for pretty much all applications. I used to use MicroGrafx Picture Publisher
8.0 within the Webtricity Suite or Photoshop 5.0 but now I use Adobe CS4, a really cool
graphics package. Picture Publisher did a decent job on
transparent GIF files and is *really* easy to use, but I can't find my copy of it.
It also costs a lot cheaper than something
like PhotoShop. This setup has more than made up for the money I would have spent scanning
pictures at Kinko's. Adobe Photoshop 5.0 does a much better job on transparent GIF's.
Many thanks to Roger Weiss for getting me a legal copy of CS4.
- "Can I link to specific pages on DanceNet?"
Sure. I host webpages for a number of dance businesses.
If you need to link to a specific venue, there's no point
in making your readers go to my front door and then have them hunt
around for the proper link. The individual pages (see the site map)
don't tend to get renamed often so they're generally safe for linking.
They'll find the rest of my site anyways soon enough.
However, this website is constantly changing so I can't guarantee that
all the links will stay the same.
- "What can I do to help?"
When you visit a dance business (a studio, dance, or band), tell
them you found them on this website or tell them they should be listed.
Tell them that the listing is *FREE* and this website is visited by
dancers all over the country (well, all over the world, really).
- "Why is the editor so !X@#$? opinionated in the
After having danced for so many years, I've accumulated some
knowledge about swing dancing and the social aspects of the dance. I've
also talked to a lot of the women I've danced with and heard about
all of their pet peeves concerning the guys they dance with. Since
Swing dancing is a *partner* dance, I feel that it's appropriate to
share what I've learned with other dancers so that they don't have to
wait 10 years to figure out how their dance partners like to be treated.
Note that the things I write about are my opinions and my advice.
I'm not trying to be the Swing Police, but I do think I have some
opinions that are worth listening to. Of course, you're also free to
ignore my editorials. I invite others to write in with thoughtful comments
that they'd like to share with others.
- "Can you link to my site?"
I am most reasonable about adding links to the appropriate pages (my decision on which
pages) for Swing, most ballroom, Argentine Tango,
and Hustle links. If you have your own
links page, then you can assume that I'm going to request a link to this website. Why not
add a link to this website and save me the trouble?
- "Yeah, like anyone really cares about this website..."
I'll admit that I don't get people throwing money and thanks at me all the time,
but I get the occasional nice comments.
And I did make the Boston Magazine's list of "Top 120 Websites" at one point. Of course,
I can see from the weekly statistics that at least 25,000
come by for a visit every week...not bad for a local website that doesn't sell anything.
I just provide a productcurrent and useful informationfor free.
- "Are you some techno-dweeb who needs a life?"
That's me and my friend, Laura, dancing on the bandstand in Golden Gate Park in
San Francisco where I used to go regularly (see the picture to the right).
I've danced on both coasts and met lots of wonderfully nice people.
I'm not sure I could deal with more of a life. :-P
If you are in the dance business (teach classes, hold workshops, play in a band, or hold
dances), please read the following before you send your information to me to be
included on this website.
- "What information do you list?"
I list dance information for almost anyone who is involved in swing, ballroom,
Argentine Tango, and Hustle dancing. I like to think that I'm pretty reasonable
about that. However, I'm the final judge about what information will be
included, where it goes on this website and how it appears. Note that my personal
preference is for Swing, especially what is referred to as "East Coast Swing"
and/or "Lindy Hop" but also includes West Coast Swing.
Note that I'm interesting in *dancing* information. I am not interested in listing
events that are "performances", whether by a band or a dance company. I'm interested
in situations for *social* dancing. Ask yourself: "Do I get to hold the girl's
hand for the duration of the song?"
- "Should I put you on my mailing list?"
Don't put me on your generic mailing list without asking first!
Remember, if you send me stuff in a mass mailing and I didn't ask for
it, that's "spam".
If you want your information listed, send me mail directly (with my
address in the TO: field). Just send me the minimal amount of
information that I need for my website. Long mailings put me to sleep
and get put at the bottom of the pile; I'm going to start deleting them.
I'm less likely to read generic mailing closely and am more likely to ignore them.
Also, if I don't want to be on your mailing list, then I definitely
don't want to be on it *twice*.
- Please, please, please link to my website!"
A link by itself is totally useless.
You have to give enough information to get the reader interested in going to
your website. You're competing with all the other listings on this website;
give people a reason to visit your website instead of others. Give addresses,
times, dates, phone numbers, all the important information that might interest
the reader so that they might get interested enough to visit your website.
Furthermore, *you* have to send me that information; don't ask me to look at
your website to get that information. (That just pisses me off and you don't want
to do that; remember, I don't work for you).
- "I'm a great teacher; you must tell everyone to attend my workshop!"
The more you tell me how great you are as a teacher, the more likely I'll think that you're
full of it. Great teachers don't need to say how great they are; their students
will already know.
Please leave out the typical *propaganda* about what a great teacher you are, what a happening
place your venue is, how your band is really hopping, what nice things people say about your
venue, or even how many competitions you've won (especially when you describe yourself in the
third person). I'm *not* impressed. The number of competitions that a dancer has won
is no indicator of whether or not they're good teachers. That information will never make it
into this website and it just aggravates me to have to wade through the sludge to find the
relevant information that my readers need. It also takes more time to get into the website.
A certain teacher came through Boston at one point for workshops. This was a teacher who
danced in at least one movie and is clearly an awesome dancer/performer. I also heard from
a local dancer that this visiting instructor was *terrible* at teaching. Don't assume that
I know who you are and what a wonderful teacher or band you are.
- "Did you get my email? Want it again?"
Send your information once. Don't send me duplicate notes unless at
least one Sunday has passed and your information still isn't on the
website. If you send me information on a Monday, it won't make the
website until at least the following Sunday (6 days!). Your problem,
- "How come my weekly dance didn't make the calendar?"
I do not put individual listings in the respective calendars unless I get a note directly
from the promoter with the dates for that event. Even if you hold your event on the same
Saturday of every month, it won't go in the calendar unless I see a note with the specific
date, especially around holidays. When an event is listed on the calendar(s), it means
that the organizer is committing to that event on that date; if it gets cancelled
and the change doesn't appear on this website, it means the organizer didn't let me know
about the change.
- "I'll send you EVERYTHING"
Don't send me your usual public mailings because many times the
information is redundant. It's a waste of my time to
read your long mailings and then have to figure out what's important
and where it should go, only to find out that I've already typed it in.
This just irritates me.
If there is only a small change, tell me what that change is;
otherwise, I'll probably miss it. At some point, I'm going to start
ignoring generic mailings. *DO* tell me about changes and
- "Whoops! I made mistakes so I'm sending my brochure again..."
It's incredibly *evil* of you to make me read your entire flyer or brochure
word by word to figure out what *word* you decided to change. And it's a waste
of my time to try to figure out where I need to change it in my files and whether
or not it's something that needs action on my part. Save me the aggravation: tell me what changed;
don't make me guess. And don't forget to tell me what *state* your venue is in.
If I can't figure out the change, no one else will either.
- "Can you list my Hungarian Rain Dance?"
I'm really only interested in Swing/Lindy Hop, though I'm am partial to Argentine Tango
and Hustle. I'm not particulary interested in Ballroom dancing so those venues should
pay attention to this FAQ when sending their information to me. I'm thoroughly bored with
dance competitions, performances and shows (why watch someone else dance?). Please
don't send me information on Squares, Contras, Zydeco, and other similar dances.
(I hope that there really isn't a "Hungarian Rain Dance" or that it isn't a partner dance!)
- "You *MUST* list my event!"
All listings are entered into this website as a courtesy. This is not
a business for me and I make no money off dancing at all.
Therefore, I am under no obligation to anyone in the dance business; I
*don't* have to list your venue's information...ever. Remember that if
you ever decide to argue about the placement of your venue's information
on this website. Be nice to me and most likely I'll be nice to you.
- "My event is tomorrow. Please list it *now*"
For those of you who want people to actually come to your event, please
understand that the earlier you send me your information, the sooner it
gets entered into the webpages and the *longer* it will be visible to my
readers. *DO NOT* send me your information to be listed two days before
the event. I will ignore it; furthermore I will hate your guts and curse
you to dancing only to music on 8-track tapes. Besides, most people
will have already made up their mind about where they want to go by then
and won't bother with other information for that date.
The really smart people send their information *months* in advance, because
it means their listings will be visible for that entire time.
- "Hey, why didn't you fix my typos?"
Typos and corrections are the sole responsibility of the dance promoters
who want their information listed here, even if I was the one who mis-typed
the information. I spend a lot of time typing
information in and there's only one person doing this so typos will
happen. I will make corrections if notified early enough but the dance
promoters should be checking to make sure their information is
correct on the website. Sending me information that is ready to be
cut-&-paste'd is a lot safer than sending me a piece of paper full of text and
expecting me to figure what I need to type in...correctly.
Bottom line: check the website after you send your listing and make sure
I spelled everything correctly. Sending it in *early* means there's time to
fix any typos.
Don't bother me about typos that have no material effect on the event.
If I capitalize the second letter of a word, the world will not go up
in flames, particularly for a calendar listing that will get deleted after
the event takes place.
- "Can you host my webpage?"
No. Well, almost no. If I give that kind of help to a dance venue, that means
I know that venue, I know the promoter (well), and I want to do what I can to support
their business. That's how some of the venues have their webpages hosted on this
website. Of course, that's not necessarily a good thing since *I* control what
goes on those pages. I'm actually in the process of weaning off those venues. While
I will host their pages, I'm getting more and more of them to do their own editting.
I've just got too much to do on this website.
I can, however, direct you to some hosting services that offer very good service or
send you to a website that rates hosting services. Check out my friends at
the Boston Web Company and
Wasserman Graphics if you want
a good looking website for advertising your business and *attracting* customers.
- Some suggestions before you hit [Enter]...
I like to include a link to a band if there's live music at an event. That
allows my readers to check out the band to see if it's a group they want to hear.
That means, it's to your benefit if you include the URL for any band that's
playing at your event. If you leave it to me to look it up, you take a very
big chance that I'm going *not* going to be in the mood to do any extra work
to find that URL or that I'm just going to assume that there's no
that band. I don't always remember what bands are listed on my
Oh, one more thing. If you make me look up a band's website, there's always a chance
that I'll pick the *wrong* band. I did that for a ballroom dance on Cape Cod and there were
*two* different bands with the *same* name in southern Massachusetts.
Yes, I usually get into a bad mood when I edit this page. That's because,
once in a while, some idiot will feel entitled to tell me what to do with
*my* website. Most likely, they didn't read this page.
One *profit-making* entrepreneur thought that I just sat around all day in front on my computer
waiting to type their dance information into my webpages and couldn't understand why I didn't
want to read all the duplicate copies of their mailings. Of course, they also sent their
information on a Monday, after I had updated the website for the week. Some people have no
other purpose in life than to serve as a *bad* example. I came very close to banning them from
this website. Don't be a bad example. And no, I would have no problems
with banning someone from this website.
- "How does someone become a sponsor?"
Sponsorship of this website is solely determined by how I feel about
that dance venue. Most of the current sponsors are venues that I've
known and support for *years*. That criteria, I admit, is not entirely
written in stone, but typically:
- How long I've known them? Have I ever met them?
- Are they involved in swing dancing?
- How much do they promote swing?
- Is that venue something that I want to endorse?
- Do I like them? (this includes how they've treated me when
I was an ordinary dance customer, before this website was created)
I considered getting sponsors for the tango pages
but I figured it would cause a lot of problems...for me.
I don't expect to invite such venues as bars that happen to offer swing
dancing to be sponsors. These kinds of places will offer swing dancing
as long as they think they can make money off it and they tend to change
their mind fairly quickly. Businesses that see swing dancing as a cash
cow instead of a win-win situation will not be invited to be sponsors.
Businesses that have treated me and/or other dancers poorly won't get
my seal of approval. Remember that if you're ever rude to a dance
customer. Naturally, I'm not interested in Country-Western or Ballroom
venues as sponsors. There have been a couple of sponsors who approached
me first, but I was about to invite them in anyways. I
imagine that there are also plenty of venues that have no interest in
becoming a DanceNet sponsor.
Bottom line: don't ask.
- "Where does the sponsor money go?"
The funds taken in from the sponsors go towards subsidizing the
costs of running this website. That includes the flyers you see at
dance venues and any fees paid to writers and artists. Most of the fees
go towards paying my Internet provider since so many readers have
increased the traffic on the server. Any money left over (ha!) at the
end of the year will be donated to a charity. I do not make any money
from the website. The extra money for 1998 was donated to
Rosie's Place which provides shelter and training for homeless
and poor women with their children. In 1999, I think the money went to
the Boston Globe Santa.
The Pine Street Inn homeless
shelter got the excess monies in 2000. 2001 saw the money go to the
Visiting Nurses Association of Gardner, MA
in memory of local dancer Patricia Keresey.
- "But how do you make money off this then?"
I don't. Remember that. This is an activity performed by someone who cares about
swing dancing. At no time have I ever gone to someone to offer my
services or publicity in exchange for any goods or services. I might
get put on the guest list for a dance, but I never ask for it. I've
never gotten free dance lessons out of it (as a matter of fact, I've
turned them down). I am an amateur dancer and quite proud of it. I
spend 10-20 hours each week working on the content of this website for
no pay; think about that the next time
you decide to give me grief about the content of this website.
However, I do feel completely entitled to speak my mind in *my* Soapbox.
- "Don't sponsors have an unfair advantage?"
Sponsors pay to support a free website for dancers in Boston, New England,
and around the country. I list a lot of information. These sponsors are
funding the promotion of their *competitors'* events on this website, too.
The DanceNet sponsors have *no* say in how this website is run. They
don't tell me how they're listed on this
website or how their competitors are listed. They can't even ask for
special treatment. In return, I don't ask special favors from them (I don't
even ask for free admission to their events). I provide a lot of support
to those venues who are my sponsors. I also provide free support to some
non-sponsor venues, including free webspace on this site.
Now, do I have some favorites and some bias for them? Of course, I do. :-)
How do you get there? Well, it'd be no fun if I just told you how. :-P
- "What are the steps to becoming a sponsor?"
There are four categories of dance venues:
- Dance venues that I want for sponsors. I can't think of any right now who
isn't already a sponsor.
- Dance venues that I know and who want to be sponsors. There are lots.
- Dance venues that I don't know and who want to be sponsors. There are even more.
- Dance venues who will never be sponsors. There are currently two. Actually,
Hell has frozen over as one of them became a sponsor for a while. See? There is hope.
It's easy to get from 3 to 2. I just have to meet and talk to you. Getting from
2 to 1 is tough because I have to feel good about your dance business because I'm
basically giving my personal endorsement of that business and feel that the venue
deserves the remaining sponsorship spots. Oh yeah, be careful about how you deal
with your customers: I might be one of them. And your customers talk to me all the time.
My little sister has this little saying: "Piss me off; pay the price".
If you're in group 4, you have a lot to do to make up for whatever you did
(to me and/or my friends in the dance community. I really don't want
the goodwill of this website to be associated with bad people. You know who you are.
Or maybe you don't.
- "May I place a banner ad on DanceNet?"
- Why do you have an arrogant attitude about all this?
Every time I'm listing someone's event, I'm doing that person a favor: I'm helping
that person make a living. And I'm doing it for free. This is *not* my job. And most
of the time, people don't even bother to say "please" when they send me their
information, much less "thank you". I could be spending those
hundreds of hours every year doing something else.
My name is Benson Wong and I am the editor of DanceNet on the Web and I'm the only
one who works on it. I can be reached at
Last updated on June 3, 2008.